O's Reimold feels good after testing Achilles

First baseman Atkins also reports to camp

February 22, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck

SARASOTA, Fla. — - Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold arrived at spring training a day early and put his left Achilles through the most extensive tests since having surgery in late September.

Reimold ran the bases and did some sprints in the outfield and emerged confident that he'll be ready for Opening Day.

"It feels all right," said Reimold, who had left Achilles tendon surgery Sept. 23, prematurely ending an impressive rookie season in which he hit .279 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. "It's going to take a little while for my legs to get underneath me, but I'll be fine."

Reimold has been running on a treadmill, but he hadn't done a lot of running on grass before Sunday, when he also took batting practice for the first time. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said there are no restrictions on Reimold, the starting left fielder.

"When I walk around, I don't feel anything," Reimold said. "We'll see how it feels when I'm running around for 10 hours a day."

Atkins in, too
Garrett Atkins, the Orioles' free-agent first base acquisition, also reported to camp Sunday and got to work on erasing the memories of his disappointing 2009 season with the Colorado Rockies.

Atkins took batting practice, then some ground balls at first base before taking extra swings with hitting coach Terry Crowley.

"I'm just trying use spring training to get as ready as possible to start taking on the full load," said Atkins, who hit .226 with nine homers and 48 RBIs last year after averaging 25 homers and 110 RBIs the previous three seasons. "You have to have your hands ready for it, and I feel that I've done that."

Atkins has primarily been a third baseman for much of his career and said he's going to try to implement the lessons learned from watching former Rockies teammate, Gold Glove first baseman Todd Helton, in helping making his transition as easy as possible.

Training room
Chris Tillman was removed early from Sunday's workout for precautionary reasons because of back spasms. Tillman said he isn't concerned and he's optimistic he'll be able to throw his side session today.

"My back just tightened up a little bit," said Tillman, who felt his ailment was a result of falling asleep on the couch in a bad position. "It's going to be one of those things where in three days I'll totally forget about it."

Fellow starter Brad Bergesen (right shoulder sprain) threw off flat ground Sunday, the start of a program that, without any setbacks, should have him pitching off the mound by late next week.

Mark Pieper, the agent for Brian Roberts, said the second baseman, who has been slowed in recent weeks by back and kidney issues, is in town and will be ready to go in time for Tuesday's first workout.

Around the horn
With Atkins, Reimold, Luke Scott and Matt Angle arriving at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday, the Orioles have only 10 position players who have yet to report. Those remaining players are required to report today. …Trembley said he has asked utility infielder Robert Andino to take some fly balls in the outfield this spring. … Trembley said he will hold an intrasquad game March 1 and have each team drafted by one of the coaches, who will serve as managers for the day.

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